Ken Tysiac at the N&O has an article up today, UNC-CH avoided creating public record, which discusses the openess and transparity of UNC’s “Review” of their Football Department.
Emphasis in bold by me
Two comments from a sworn deposition of a UNC-Chapel Hill official appear to show efforts by UNC to keep information from becoming public.
Amy Herman, UNC’s associate athletic director for compliance, said in a Sept. 8 deposition she has been advised to avoid creating documents and that UNC officials have outside legal counsel handling documents regarding the school’s football program on a secure NCAA website. Having lawyers who aren’t UNC employees work with those documents could prevent public scrutiny of them.
Glad to know we can trust them to do a thorough investigation when they are “advising” their employees from creating a paper trail.
“Have you ever been advised to avoid creating documents?” Martin asked Herman, according to a transcript of the deposition released this week.
“Yes,” Herman replied.
Her lawyers stopped the conversation when Herman was asked whether she had ever been advised by anyone other than legal counsel to avoid creating documents. After a discussion off the record, Herman’s lawyers objected and instructed her not to answer that question.
“It is not unlawful to not create a public document,” said Melissa Trippe of the North Carolina Department of Justice. “I mean, some would even say that that’s actually good advice, to not create public documents. There’s no requirement that public documents be created if you could pick up a phone and talk to somebody.”
“So I can understand exercising caution in what you put in a document,” Thorp said. “But from a practical standpoint, that hasn’t prevented the public from knowing the facts and the results of the NCAA investigation. We’ve released thousands of pages of documents, including the Notice of Allegations and our response.”
Atta boy Thorp
A fourth part of the lawsuit, in which the media sought the release of documents related to the investigation, has yet to be decided and led to the deposition of Herman. Her admission that she had been instructed not to create documents wasn’t the only part of the deposition that could indicate an effort to escape public attention.
The NCAA has set up a secure website to house documents pertaining to the case. In the case of another NCAA investigation at Florida State, the media won the right to review documents stored at a similar secure website.
But UNC appears to have a way to prevent that from happening in this case.